Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Frantically doing nothing...

There can surely be nothing as boring as waiting for software to compile. Yet at the same time, it's an activity where your boredom is contaminaed with fear and panic. Fear that the software won't compile, and then panic when it doesn't. Which, of course, is the usual outcome. This is especially true when the software in question is several million lines of ancient Fortran and C held together by a build system so new we're still rounding the corners off, and it all has to work by Friday when the team get on (at last count) four separate planes for the States, which all end up in LAX within a couple of hours of each other.

Watching build messages you've seen a thousand times before scroll up a terminal window, especially when the build cycle is several hours long, can be a really draining experience. The brief happy moments when it passes the point it crashed last time, closely followed by depression when it crashes again somewhere different. Usually to do with the thing that fixed the first crash. It'd make anyone into a philosopher.

So what deep insight into the cosmic all have I come up with? Mostly, that I really should use a bigger font in my terminal window...